Whitey Bulger Trial Blog
FBI agent, brother of murder victim and shakedown victim take stand
Posted by Jonathan Hall 07/16/13, 9:38am
A former FBI agent, a murder victim's brother, and a shakedown victim were all on the stand today at the Bulger trial.
The judge held a hearing on evidence seized in Santa Monica two years ago. Carney filed a motion to disallow it in this trial.
Bulger faces separate charges in relation to the guns in California.
For this 2pm hearing we did not have to sit in the media rows. I chose to sit in the front row reserved for Bulger family. Jackie Bulger was not there. As Whitey walked in for the afternoon hearing, he gave me a stare...I'm definitely not family.
The FBI seized $822,000 cash and 30 weapons from the apartment - some of them loaded, some hidden in walls, and others easily accessible. The government says this is proof Bulger didn't want to go down without a fight, and the evidence is proof of consciousness of guilt, which is legally admissible.
Bulger claims the evidence isn't important to the government's case...and would taint the jury unnecessarily.
Defense attorney Jay Carney told the judge, quote- "the prejudice of that evidence is enormous...there is simply no reason to allow that evidence in this trial, at his time."
Prosecutor Zach Hafer says the guns and cash show proceeds from a life of crime, because "there's no evidence Bulger has held a legitimate job in his life."
Judge Denise Casper is going to take some time to make a decision on this.
Now to the witnesses...
Gangster Brian Halloran's brother was a state trooper, who identified his body. He is the 50th witness of this trial.
Robert Halloran testified Brian forsaw his own death - telling him he worried the Bulger gang would turn on him just as they did Tommy King in 1975.
Former FBI agent Gerry Montinari investigated the Halloran & Donahue murders, and testified Whitey pal John Connolly tried to throw him off the Bulger/Stephen Flemmi trail.
"He indicated his guys wouldn't have anything to do with that."
Montinari respectfully disagreed. But even after a high level meeting at FBI headquarters no one dropped him as an informant.
Also on the stand, well-to-do businessman Mike Solimondo - who played softball with Halloran as a young man.... and he knew Flemmi.
Solimondo testified Bulger and Flemmi shook him down for $400,000 at the gang's hang out- triple O's, in August of 1982. Solimondo and murder victim John Callahan had been partners in the redevelopment of 126 High Street in Boston's financial district.
Bulger was claiming he put up Callahan's stake in the deal and wanted cash now that Callahan was dead.
During his testimony, Kevin Weeks testified it was just a crime of opportunity. He got part of the cut. Of course there was no debt. Callahan didn't owe the gang anything.
Solimondo told the jury, "He pulled a revolver out and stuck it in my face" and later pointed a machine gun at his crotch as the two sat at a card table.
Solimondo says Bulger warned him not to talk to the FBI, state or local police, "We're going to know the minute you open your mouth."
Solimondo eventually paid the cash - almost half was his own money. He said it was either that, or die.